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ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation

Houston (Platts)--14 Mar 2018 151 pm EDT/1751 GMT


ISO New England real-time power price spikes Wednesday morning led to increased oil and hydro generation usage as an abnormal conditions alert remains in effect due to the nor'easter that slammed the region.

Real-time prices spiked above $1,875/MWh at 7:50 am EDT for two five-minute intervals, according to ISO data. Prices quickly fell, before jumping and hovering near $300/MWh for about an hour. Internal Hub real-time has averaged $27.25/MWh so far in March, 26% below the March 2017 average.

The sudden spike in real-time prices Wednesday morning led to an increase in fuel oil and hydro generation.

Fuel oil generation spiked as high as 781 MW Wednesday, compared with a maximum of 20 MW Tuesday. Fuel oil has accounted for 4.7% of the ISO's fuel mix so far in 2018, compared with 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017, thanks to strong winter storms driving up oil generation at the start of the year.

Hydro generation spiked to 2,770 MW, compared with Tuesday's highest level of nearly 1,750 MW. Hydro generation has been about 9.6% of the overall ISO fuel mix so far this year, compared with 9.3% in Q1 2017.

ISO New England issued an abnormal conditions alert Monday afternoon due to the nor'easter and the alert remains in effect until further notice. Once the alert is issued, market participants are expected to cease any routine maintenance, construction or test activities on their equipment that could jeopardize the reliability of the power system.

--Kassia Micek, kassia.micek@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com




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